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Money trees: U.S. cities find new ways of valuing ...

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Urban trees stand guard against storm damage, raise property values, boost wellbeing and even help other city systems like roads work more efficiently, according to urban forestry experts. So, should city officials treat them as core infrastructure — as a utility themselves? In the face of a warming planet and breakneck urbanization, a growing number of U.S. policymakers and...

COVID-19 & biodiversity loss: An unsettling c...

We are living in extraordinary — and frightening — times. But how did we get here? This week at Ensia, journalist John Vidal dives into the origins of zoonotic (animal-borne) diseases such as Ebola, SARS and now COVID-19 in a story we’re publishing both on our site and in partnership with The Guardian. As Vidal writes, “Only a decade or two ago it was widely thought that tropical forests and intact natural environments...

The Rich Are to Blame for the Climate Crisis, Inte...

A new international study has pinpointed an enormous chasm in the amount of resources the rich use versus the poor — both within their own countries and compared to an international population, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Energy. The researchers found that the wealthiest tenth of people use up about 20 times more overall energy than the bottom ten percent, no matter where they are, according to...

The Great U.S. Shale Decline Has Already Begun

U.S. shale companies are moving quickly to ax their budgets, hoping to staunch the bleeding as the oil market continues to melt down. It has only been a few days after the OPEC+ debacle, but with oil trading at around $30 per barrel, and with good odds of falling even lower, the entire energy industry has little option but to make deep cuts to their operations. “Most companies will go into maintenance mode,” Pioneer Natural...

Good News Alert: A Huge Win for Ohio’s National Fo...

With all the troubling news recently about the coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s been easy for good news to get lost in the fray. That’s why I couldn’t wait to tell you that we just achieved one of the most significant conservation victories in Ohio history!  The OEC just won its three-year legal battle to protect the Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only national forest located in Southeast Ohio, by stopping fracking in its...

100% Renewable Energy in Virginia? It Is the First...

Virginia, which now has a Democrat as governor and Democrats in control of the statehouse, has followed the lead of several other blue states and committed itself to transition away from fossil fuels to a clean, renewable, carbon-free energy, as Vox reported. It makes Virginia the first state in the South to commit to 100 percent clean energy. Last September, Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order for the state to run...

An Emerging Threat to Conservation: Fear of Nature

What do we lose when natural spaces and species disappear? Increasingly, research has shown that as species and ecosystems vanish, it also chips away at our ability to preserve what remains — because we no longer understand what we’re losing. You probably see it all the time. The neighbor who puts pesticides on his lawn rather than deal with pesky bees. The kid who squirms and runs at the sight of a harmless garter...

How to Pay for the Progressive Policy Agenda: COVI...

Dear Concerned Citizens, journalists/social media/communications professionals, You are cordially invited to a webinar on “How to Pay for the Progressive Policy Agenda: COVID-19 Crisis Response, Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and Beyond” hosted by Brand New Congress (BNC) and the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (GISP) on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 8 pm EDT. When: Thursday, March 19th, 2020 Time:...

State, industry leaders break ground on historic s...

State Representative Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) joined Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and other state and energy industry leaders Thursday in breaking ground for what will be the largest solar project in Ohio history. The groundbreaking kicked off construction on the 200 MW Hillcrest Solar facility which, when completed, will power approximately 39,000 homes. It is Ohio’s first utility-scale solar...

With ‘solutions journalism,’ reporters...

Under this approach, journalists rigorously report on potential solutions to society’s problems. Whether reporting on sea-level rise, crop failures, or natural disasters, journalists are often the bearers of bleak news about global warming. But Liza Gross of the Solutions Journalism Network says that the bad news on climate is not the only news. And she says that unrelenting negative coverage can turn viewers and readers off...

Editorial: United front needed on climate change

This editorial represents the opinion of the Dispatch editorial board, which includes the publisher, editor, editorial page editor and editorial writers. Editorials, like opinion columns, represent a particular viewpoint and are not to be confused with news stories. In a week in which the news seemed especially grim and mankind’s problems especially daunting, having three pragmatic politicians come to Westerville with a...

Net zero isn’t enough: Congress must fight h...

There’s a new climate buzzword taking hold of Congress: “net zero.”  Net zero climate targets purport to remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as is put in typically by 2050. From the CLEAN Future Act to the American Public Lands and Waters Climate Solution Act, it is becoming the defining goal of national climate legislation.  While net zero may sound good on the surface, the fact that it’s being embraced by the biggest...

U.S. shale companies facing a money-losing reality...

Bloomberg: America’s shale producers already had a profitability problem. It just got a lot worse. At a stroke, Saudi Arabia and Russia and their battle for market share have made almost all U.S. shale drilling unprofitable. Only five companies in two areas of the country have breakeven costs lower than the current oil price, according to data compiled by Rystad Energy, an Oslo-based consultancy. Wells drilled by Exxon Mobil...

The Government Must Abandon its Fossil Fuel Power ...

No longer should our survival be an afterthought. If we are to withstand the climate crisis, every decision should begin with the question of what the planet can endure. This means that any discussion about new infrastructure should begin with ecological constraints. The figures are stark. A paper published in Nature last year showed that existing energy infrastructure, if it is allowed to run to the end of its natural life,...

How Big Oil and Big Soda kept a global environment...

Every human on Earth is ingesting nearly 2,000 particles of plastic a week. These tiny pieces enter our unwitting bodies from tap water, food, and even the air, according to an alarming academic study sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, dosing us with five grams of plastics, many cut with chemicals linked to cancers, hormone disruption, and developmental delays. Since the paper’s publication last year, Sen. Tom...

GM unveils 11 future EVs, new batteries and its pl...

General Motors wants to do better at telling the story of its electric vehicle development. So GM leaders invited about 150 journalists to an “EV day” Wednesday, showing 11 future EVs in its Design Dome at the Warren Technical Center. GM did not allow any photographs of the vehicles or provide any to the media. The upcoming GMC Hummer pickup hulked in one corner of the dome and the Cadillac Lyriq, a futuristic...

Richard Downs: “Change Happens from the Bott...

Richard Downs, 40-year advocate for sustainability, firmly believes change does not happen from the top-down, but rather the bottom-up. A natural gift Richard has is to educate people on the environmental crisis our planet is facing due to the use of fossil fuels. As a result of this passion, he has built a strong base of environmental activists on a local level. When asked why we should care about supporting renewable...

JPMorgan Chase to install solar panels on carports...

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — JPMorgan Chase announced this week that they will continue their renewable energy push by installing seven solar arrays on carports at its Polaris McCoy Center. The installation will be the second-largest commercial office solar system in the world. The carport installation project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020, and it’s expected to generate nearly 60 percent of the...

Trump’s Best Shot at Saving Coal Is an Obscure Pow...

FERC draws new battle lines in the U.S. electricity wars. In the past three months, regulators appointed by President Donald Trump have disrupted ambitious plans to combat climate change in electric grids serving 85 million people in the U.S., from Chicago to New York to Washington. It was easy: an agency just rewrote some obscure pricing rules. With that, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cranked up to a new boil the...

Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial Into Agency Re...

Five years ago, the leading climate denial organization in the UK, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), published a pamphlet entitled: Carbon Dioxide, the good news. The paper reiterated many of the climate deniers’ favorite, but long discredited, arguments. In many ways, the GWPF’s claims on climate science would be laughable if the ramifications were not so serious. They boil down to two main arguments:...